Round Lake Beach 847-546-5550 2 E Rollins Rd, Suite 202, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

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Our Round Lake Dentist Talks Gum Disease and Inflammation

Most people understand the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth on a regular basis to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. However, at Round Lake Beach Family Dental, we want everyone to appreciate how essential dental hygiene is to their overall health as well.

Something that is not always fully understood, is the synergistic relationship that exists between your teeth and gums and other organs throughout your body. In other words, on the one hand, what happens in the mouth can adversely affect the proper functioning of other organs beyond your mouth, while at the same time, things occurring in other parts of your body can negatively impact your teeth and gums.

Six Million Bacteria

Much of the information regarding dental hygiene and your overall health begins with the understanding that every individual has approximately six million bacteria teeming inside their mouth. Most of these bacteria are relatively harmless, but not all of them, and without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach unhealthy levels that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Six Million Bacteria

Furthermore, numerous studies suggest the bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontal disease may play a role in spreading disease via the bloodstream to other parts of your body.

For instance, poor oral hygiene may contribute to the following health issues:

  • Endocarditis – This is an infection that typically occurs when bacteria spreads through your bloodstream from certain parts of your body, including the mouth, and attaches to the smooth membrane that lines the chambers of the heart and forms the surface of the heart valves called the endocardium.
  • Atherosclerosis – While the connection is not fully understood, some studies suggest atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and stroke are linked to the infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and birth conditions – Premature birth and low birth weight has been linked to periodontitis.
  • Pneumonia – When we breathe, certain bacteria in the mouth can make its way into the lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory issues

Conversely, diseases including osteoporosis, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS can lower the body’s resistance to infection and cause oral health problems, or make existing oral conditions worse.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Given the extreme importance of dental care and its relationship to your general health, it’s essential to have some understanding of gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is a term used to describe gum disease caused by excess plaque that has accumulated on your teeth. Because the symptoms of gingivitis are not usually painful, this condition often goes unnoticed. Symptoms include swollen or bright red gums, or gums that bleed easily when flossed or brushed. A key item to remember is that healthy gum tissue does not bleed.

As gingivitis progresses, periodontitis, a more severe form of periodontal disease can develop. Periodontitis occurs as the untreated gums become more and more inflamed, causing them to recede (pulling away from the teeth). As this happens, pockets form and bacteria builds up in these areas, causing infection and other serious symptoms. These include soreness, increased sensitivity, pain when chewing, sores on the inside of the mouth, and eventually, loosened teeth.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

The main and essential difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that gingivitis is reversible, while periodontitis is not, as it involves bone loss. Once periodontitis is diagnosed, the treatment plan often includes oral surgery. So, if you begin to notice any symptoms of gingivitis, we highly recommend setting up an appointment with a dentist at a reputable dental practice sooner rather than later.

Preventive Care

Given the connection between oral health and other systemic health issues, daily preventive care is essential. You should brush at least twice daily, brushing for two minutes or longer each time, and floss once daily. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are a must, and you should always speak with your dentist about any changes in your teeth, gums, or your overall health.

Family Dentistry at Round Lake Beach

If, despite your preventive care routine, you suspect that you may have either gingivitis or periodontitis, you are not alone. The CDC has reported that approximately 47 percent of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease, but we urge you to not to take comfort in numbers. Professional treatment is essential, because, as we have said, infections in the mouth can not only affect your normally healthy smile, but may exacerbate other health issues.

If you are searching for a knowledgeable and experienced dentist in Round Lake Beach, we invite you to contact us today at 847-546-5550 to schedule your initial consultation. We will do our very best to answer all your questions, make you feel comfortable, and prescribe a treatment plan to address your specific dental issues.

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